On his journey through the music industry, Dan Mangan has experienced his fair share of metaphorical doors close in his face. Instead of seeing this in a negative light, he decided to build his own door. After a particularly challenging year in 2015 — artistically, spiritually, personally — Mangan started Sidedoor, a platform for burgeoning musicians to connect with alternative venues and hosts to book shows and tours. All was going well until the covid-19 pandemic hit and the whole premise of Sidedoor, namely in-person gatherings, was shut down overnight.
But, as the theme of this episode hints at, for every door that closes another one opens.
As a live performer, Mangan is well-known for connecting with his audience in ways most artists can only dream about. But without the option to play live, how does a performer make connections with an audience? After a few underwhelming attempts at putting livestream shows on, Mangan dug into the technical challenge of online concerts and ended up discovering connections that never would have surfaced had he not been forced to look at his career differently.
You could easily see how the pandemic was an end to life as we knew it — but what Mangan was able to see was the new opportunities it offered. Hear how he and his team at Sidedoor turned a forced ending into a fresh beginning.